Good morning Blues fans! Oh, how sweet it is. St. Louis put fans through the wringer but got the job done in the end.
The St. Louis Blues did not make it easy on any of us. After jumping out to a nice lead, the team proceeded to have a parade route through the penalty box, fail to take advantage of their few offensive opportunities and just find general ways to give fans strokes and heart attacks (figuratively of course).
It seemed like it was going to be a nice, easy afternoon. The Blues got their superstar to kick things off.
Just a little over seven minutes into the game, Vladimir Tarasenko got his first goal of the playoffs. It seemed set up for the Blues to thrive when their best player finally punched through.
Things got even better when the Blues doubled their lead. A little over three minutes later, Alexander Steen put the Blues up 2-0.
You could kind of tell this game was not going to go according to plan the way the first period went. For a series that saw three total first period goals to suddenly have three goals was a big change.
Despite the Blues allowing that goal in the first period, it seemed like they were going to seal things up. A third goal for the team and first of the playoffs from Paul Stastny seemed to be the signal of the end.
Unfortunately, the Blues had other plans. Whether you agree with the calls or not, the Blues put themselves in the box far too often.
The officials put their stamp on this game a little too much. 10 powerplays and 12 penalties overall is a bit much.
The playoffs used to be a place where whistles got swallowed. Now there seems to be too many iffy calls and non-calls that should be called.
As Blues fans, clearly we see things a certain way. Even some of the calls against Minnesota were fairly weak in this series.
Ultimately, the Blues just gave up too many chances, powerplay or not. The Blues were outshot 37-27 and outhit 30-12.
A Minnesota powerplay goal cut the lead to one. Then a defensive miscue led to the game-tying goal.
Fortunately, the Blues never gave up. Magnus Paajarvi, the man we had all willingly given up for dead, became the hero.
The man so many did not want back, Vladimir Sobotka, set up the game winner too. In fact, it was all Sobotka on that play except the finish.
Of course, we cannot overlook the impact on the game and series of Jake Allen. Allen was a deity come to Earth in this series.
Under seige for what seemed like ages, the Snake turned away 174 of 182 shots over the series. While the Blues improved defensively over the course of the series, they still owe a debt of gratitude to their goaltender.
It is funny how so many players that were in fans’ doghouses ended up being the key players in this game.
Stastny has been called overrated. Fans were tired of the Sobotka saga. Nobody thought Paajarvi was worth a dime. Allen was in the shadow of a Moose and faltered big time during the winter.
Each and every one played a pivotal role in winning this game and the series as a whole. Perhaps that’s what the Blues need.
In a year we had all left them for dead, maybe it is comeuppance to see the players some thought nothing of to push the team to the next round. As fans, we might have to shake our heads or scratch them, but we will certainly eat all the crow possible to keep on winning.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
The Minnesota Wild had some sour grapes after the game. While their coach was clearly sticking up for his team, he went about it in a rather disingenuous way. Perhaps the Blues were not the better team every minute, but they did enough to win and did just that. (Yahoo Sports)
The Blues soaked up the experience and reveled in the win over Minnesota. However, Paajarvi said in his postgame interview that the team will be watching lots of video. The Blues are already looking ahead to the Nashville Predators now. (Yahoo)
Mike Yeo is no fool. While he praise up guys like Allen and Sobotka, he knows the team cannot keep winning by survival alone. Hear his own postgame comments from the podium. (Blues)
The Blues have been where the Wild are now. In fact, it was just two years ago that the situations were exactly reversed. Now it is Minnesota trying to make sense of all the bitterness. (NHL)
Blues fans certainly took a small note of pleasure with the early exit of the Chicago Blackhawks. The team’s GM was not so pleased. While he announced there would not be a coaching change, the Hawks boss made it sound like anything else was possible this summer. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!